Aug 302016
 

It is no surprise that a collaboration between Rachel Pollack and Robert Place creates a powerful deck for divination and they are working together again to create the Raziel Tarot. This spring,  I had the good fortune of exploring the deck and doing a wisdom reading with Rachel using the Raziel. It follows as an example of what the Raziel wants to teach us. Be sure to pre-order the deck so you can do your own wisdom readings. 

A note: Wisdom Readings are one of Rachel’s many innovations with the Tarot in which we use the cards to ask not just personal questions, but also to explore collective, philosophical, and spiritual questions. We pulled cards from the Raziel as a response to what is fate, destiny, and fortune. We also pulled support cards for each area. Rachel calls them Teacher cards. I tend to think of them as the deeper foundation that influences the meaning of the primary card.  

A Wisdom Reading for Fate, Destiny, and Fortune

Our fate is Death.

Our Destiny is to stand before something greater than ourselves.

And our Fortune is not ours at all, but the interaction, collision, and alignment of forces and events beyond our control.

Our Fate is Death

death razielLike Moses who stands on the mountain top seeing the Promised Land he will not enter, we are all fated to die.

We don’t have a choice about Death’s place in our life, but we do have a choice in the relationship that we make with Death. So much of the language of Death is filled with the metaphor of battle, but when we make Death our enemy we will fail. We will never conquer Death.

Making Death our enemy closes us off to the generativity that we might learn from its dark transitions. Each card in this reading had a deeper teacher card below, and The Empress in the form of Miriam of the Waters flowed below this Death card.

Miriam is Moses’ sister who saves him from Death by hiding him at the water’s edge when the Pharaoh orders all infant boys of the enslaved Hebrews be killed. When the grown Moses succeeds in leading the Israelites out of enslavement in Egypt, she raises her timbrel to lead a victory song that may be some of the oldest text in the Bible: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.” Here Miriam’s waters are not always gentle; sometimes they bring Death. Miriam herself dies as the Hebrews wander in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land, but from the place where she is buried a spring of life-sustaining water opens.

empress razielLife and Death are intertwined in Miriam’s story. She saves the infant Moses from Death but celebrates the deaths of the Egyptian forces that would have re-enslaved her people. When her death comes it gives rise to water in the dessert. She flows with cycles of Life-Death-Life, and her example invites us to these forces are linked together. Death can feed Life. Life serves Death.

Unlike his sister, the place of Moses burial is a mystery according to the Bible. The rabbinical literature fills in this gap with the story that inspires the Raziel’s image of Death. Here as he approaches his death, Moses stands in the embrace of the Shekhinah, the Divine Feminine. He faces the unknown and takes a step toward it held and supported by the Shekninah’s wings. In one version of the story, Moses is kissed by the Shekinah and his body lifts away. There was no burial; Moses ascended on the wings of the Divine as a reward his faithful service to God and his people.

Moses’ face is serious. He is looking into the unknown with a certain watchfulness. He doesn’t know what to do next, but he is paying attention to what is coming so he can meet it. While we are unwise to make Death our enemy, we don’t know Death well enough to make It our friend. We know our friends so can be familiar with them. We won’t know Death until we cross Its threshold. Moses attitude in this image shows a way to make that crossing: by paying attention to the unknown coming so that It can be give a proper greeting.

Our Destiny is to stand before something greater than ourselves.

high priest razielIn this card to of Destiny, Aaron as the first High Priest is shown with the Ark of the Covenant, which was created from instructions given by God to hold the 10 Commandments, the Divine law. The Ark becomes a physical representation of God’s presence and the High Priests play a special role in to tending this treasure.

The Hebrews gave God a name that could not be spoken to recognize God’s greatness beyond measure. Other traditions have given the Divine evocative names: Ra, Shining Ones, Qian Yin, Aphrodite, Green Man, Jesus, Spider Woman. Each culture reaches toward its own naming of what is unnamable. And as we humans strive to find that name to call out to, we also connect with practices, places, or objects that help us meet and stand in relationship with something of the Greater Than in our individual lives.  Not everyone believes in a Deity, but the forces of that natural world are awesome, too, and in the end we all stand before Death. Like Aaron before the Ark, our Destiny is to stand before something greater than ourselves.

When we talk about Destiny, we are often referencing a specific role that we believe we are called to play. Aaron in the image stands solidly in his role as High Priest. When stepping into a role we have sought, we may feel our destiny is achieved. But what about what about those areas in which we do not realize our visions? What about the inevitable failures that come along with any life?

sun razielThe deeper teacher for Destiny is The Sun. Here youthful innocents arise from a broken jar, which represents the inherent brokenness of the world. But each child – each one of us – brings a unique light into the world and can play a part in its repair.  This repair is known as tikkun olam, which in its earliest meaning called for religious practices (repair of the soul) and now is equated popularly  with contributing to social justice (repair of the physical world and its institutions).  In neither meaning is a specific role required to participate in tikkun olam. In fact, the nakedness of the Raziel’s children is a symbol of their freedom from roles that so often comes with prescriptions on what to wear and how to appear.

As we move through our lives standing before the Greater Than, we will step into certain roles that can be a container for the expression of the important work we are called to do, our destiny. But The Sun as the deeper teacher reminds us that even when those roles fall away, we still have that light of being to be offered to the world as a contribution toward its repair.

And our Fortune is not ours at all.

tower razielWell, the Tower is an alarming response to the question: What is Fortune? The bursting flames of this image show us Fortune as chaos.

With chaos as a central feature of Fortune, this card is a wake up call for our ego-protecting selves with the reminder: we are not in control. The writer Annie Dillard says it this way: “We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any of the switches at all.” When we fall into such a sleep Fortune wakes us.

The Raziel Tarot shows us the wakeup calls that came to the Israelites when their temple was destroyed not just once but twice (586 BCE and 70 CE) . And each destruction was connected to a period of exile for the Israelites. The human and physical destruction was enormous. Descriptors such as chaos and tragedy are not exaggerations for these historical events.

A people do not emerge from such an experience unchanged. In religious life, the rabbis, who were the religious teachers, became the spiritual leaders replacing the High Priests after the second destruction. This shift led to an emphasis on study of the Torah and Jewish law rather than Temple practices and political governance.  Midrash, which are stories told by rabbis to fill in the gaps of the Torah, became a lively practice and gifted the world with a rich wisdom tradition.

The pain of the destruction Fortune brings is often enormous, at times seems unbearable. But once the structures destroyed by Fortune have fallen, we are invited to work with what has changed, to find the new gestating in what remains.

hanged man razielThe deeper teacher of Fortune is the Hanged Man. Here the fallen angel Sheimhazai continues an ongoing process of descent. First, Sheimhazai surrendered being an angel to become a man, then he surrendered his place on earth as an act of repentance to save humanity from the great flood. But the flood came any way. He is falling still, but if you look at the image, you will see that, at last, the ropes that tie him are loosening. He is surrendering to the falling and failing, and it seems as if this is what will set him free.

The Hanged Man invites us to surrender to the losses of Fortune, and when we do, we shift our perspective to see what new light that can liberated from destruction. In the image, the menorah remains in front of the Temple. Although the nine-branched menorah is better known because of its modern use at Chanukah, the original menorah was seven-branched. Seven is number of alchemical transformation that turns the base and most difficult realities of destruction into powerful new creations that liberate us from what limits us.

 

Remember you can pre-order The Raziel today. Thanks to Bob for letting me use these glorious images in this post and to Rachel for all her wisdom offered in her words and works and laughter. Even before I met her, she was my Tarot teacher through her books and since then I have been able to study with her in-person. Let me tell you, it is a treat. I’ve absorbed a lot from her, and all the wisdom that flows through the word above have some source in what I’ve learned from her … though she might deny it as she rather likes to be the anti-guru.

And, FYI, in the fall there will be some shifts to the site and the work I am doing – including more explorations like this of Tarot as wisdom images. You can keep up with the shapeshifting by being one my list if you like.  

Sep 142015
 

Each week I pull Tarot cards to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of the blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  (If you want to read more about the process, check out Sacred Practices of the Gaian Tarot: The 3 P’s).You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards and share them in the comments.

gaian 3-gardenerPATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? THE GARDNER invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Alignment with the energy and offerings of the land around you so you can tap into the abundance of any season.
  • Being aware of and celebrating the body – your body and the body of the Earth.
  • Finding the right balance of work and rest to bring forth abundance, creativity, new life, or harvest.

gaian 8-airPRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week? EIGHT OF AIR  invites us to practices such as …

  • Sit with friends and tell stories. Allow both the stories of joy and success to be told alongside the stories of grief and loss.
  • Gather a circle for a specific purpose and use the circle guidelines offered by Christian Baldwin in her Peer Circle process.
  • Listening internally to all the different voices and ideas that surface from within you.  Yes, it sometimes feels like there is a raucous committee meeting going on inside our heads! But you can align this group for forward movement or internal peace by letting each have its say.  You might give names to each of these different aspects of yourself and then listen in turn to what each of them would say in regard to an important matter before you.
  • Joining a support group specific to the need or change that you are going through.

gaian explorer-firePOSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path?  EXPLORER OF FIRE invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of …

  • Flexibility and embracing the flow.
  • Openness to whatever comes. It’s not really that you are fearless; it’s that you feel the fear but harness that energy to do what you want.
  • Stepping into your passion fully.
  • Acting on instinct developed from long practice.

 

OVERALL MUSINGS: We are entering the time of the equinox when day and night are of equal length. In the Northern Hemisphere, we are shifting and grounding the fire cultivated in summer’s height while in the Southern Hemisphere, the dreams of winter make their first movement toward form. Out of each will emerge a harvest most fully made and appreciated through both hard, active work and a pausing – like composting – that allows the growth to be fully received and integrated. In summer’s light we can forget that that pause, but the shortening days here in New England when flowers surrender their seeds to earth remind me that rest too is part of the process of creation.

Jan 262015
 

Each week I pull Tarot cards to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of the blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  (If you want to read more about the process, check out Sacred Practices of the Gaian Tarot: The 3 P’s).You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards and share them in the comments.

gaian 3-gardenerPATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? THE GARDENER  invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Alignment with the energy and offerings of the land around you so you can tap into the abundance of any season.
  • Being aware of and celebrating the body – your body and the body of the Earth.
  • Creativity and bringing your inspirations into form.

gaian six-airPRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week?  SIX OF AIR  invites us to practices such as …

  • Yoga with a particular attention to sun salutations.
  • Giving gratitude for the sun for its life giving force. You may want to get up to welcome the sun rise, which here in the Northern Hemisphere comes just a little bit earlier each morning.
  • Drumming as a practice that helps a group to find a shared pace and energy.

gaian-guardian-firePOSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path?  GUARDIAN OF FIRE  invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of …

  • Persistence.
  • Quiet strength.
  • Taking action in a graceful and unhurried way.
  • Taking time to nurture your own inner fire.

OVERALL MUSINGS:  I’m laughing at the The Gardener appearing as we here in the Northeast of the U.S.A. prepare for a bounty of snow to be dropped upon us. I’ll need the persistence of the Guardian of Fire to keep at shoveling my driveway!  This comes right at a time when we might start to think about – long for! – spring. Nature is offering us a bit of challenge, but if we attune ourselves to the lengthening light of each day – perhaps invoke it with yoga practice or seasonal ritual – then we can kindle the warmth of the sun in our hearts and let an inner thaw prepare us for the outer thaw to come because the sun is truly spending more time in the sky above – even when it might be hidden behind snow’s veil!

 

Oct 132014
 

Each week I pull Tarot cards to inspire practice that cultivates soul wisdom for readers of the blog as a group using the Gaian Tarot.  (If you want to read more about the process, check out Sacred Practices of the Gaian Tarot: The 3 P’s).You are invited to use the cards below to inspire your practice, and, if you like, share your reflections in the comments.  You are also free to draw your own cards.

gaian 3-gardenerPATH:  Use Pile 1 / Majors and Aces to pull a card for the question:  What path would it best serve us to walk this week? GARDENER  invites us to walk this week on pathways of  …

  • Alignment with the energy and offerings of the land around you so you can tap into the abundance of any season.
  • Being aware of and celebrating the body – your body and the body of the Earth.
  • Creativity and bringing your inspirations into form.

Gaian seven-firePRACTICE:  Use Pile 2 / numbered cards for this question:  What practice(s) will best serve us to move along this path this week?  SEVEN OF FIRE  invites us to practices such as …

  • If you are engaged in a creative project, spend some time in the revision stage where you shape and trim and hone. Dedicate this work to your spiritual growth.
  • Spend some time communing with or learning about a wisdom teacher such as the Viking god Thor or the Celtic goddess and saint Brigid. What quality or attitude of theirs could you adopt to persist in reaching your goals
  • Acknowledge the hard work you have done to bring you to this place in your life/work/healing. Then offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all who have helped you in this or create a brief ritual that honors this work.

Gaian explorer-waterPOSTURE:  Use Pile 3 / People cards for a question such as:  What attitudes and behaviors will be most helpful to undertake this practice and walk with path?  EXPLORER OF WATER  invites you to follow your path and practices with attitudes of ….

  •  Being in the flow.
  • Letting your emotions flow through your body, acknowledging them, feeling them, using them for guidance, and letting them keep moving.
  • Balancing effort or technique with effortlessness or improvisation; there is a wonderful phrase of the poet Rilke, “no forcing, no holding back.”.

OVERALL MUSINGS:  Brigid may be just the guide for this week.  She is a very earthy spiritual teacher who is often dressed in green and credited with inventing beer!  While primarily a fire Goddess, many springs and wells are named for her and serve as places of pilgrimage and healing. She bridges the Pagan and the Christian in her venerated roles as both Goddess and saint where she championed generosity and justice.  So what’s the invitation for you from Her this week?  To find inspiration in her flame and bring it into physical form? Take time to dip into the waters that can renew you?  Take action to bend the arc of history a bit more toward justice?  Or all of it?  Brigid awaits to help.  With her you can be brave, you can create, you can flow.

 

 

 

 

Aug 012012
 

Welcome to the Lammas Tarot Blog Hop!  Lammas celebrates the grain harvest.

Perhaps you are joining me from Jaymi  Elfords’ blog  (or make sure to back up to her) on this hop around the internet to celebrate the Solstice.  Be sure to continue the hop by moving from this blog to Bonnie Fernandes’ at Intuitive Blogging.   

In these times when most of us go to the supermarket rather than the field to gather our ingredients for dinner, we can easily forget the hard work of bringing in a harvest.  I belong to a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, Mountain View Farm, so I work no harder than going to the market but I do get to see and listening in on the juggle of farming:  too little rain, too much rain, heat (good for the melons, hard for the harvesters), weeds, and bugs.  There is always a new challenge so to see the rainbow of results reminds us that food is an everyday miracle.

Photo from Mountain View Farm wesite

The woman in the Tarot’s 9 of Pentacles both seems to know the challenge and the sweetness of the harvest.  She stands contented in her garden; she clearly revels in the beauty and abundance but there is a seriousness to her that let’s you know she hasn’t forgotten the work that brought her to this point.

She is a guide that calls you to a deep appreciation of harvest time, both the crops of the outer world and our work of inner growth.  How did she gain this wisdom? Who guided and supported her?

Just as people are a constellation of the traits and influences passed down through families and communities, the wisdom figures appearing on the Tarot cards have their own influences and lineages.
Relationships dictated by number create webs of connections in the Tarot and the 9 of Pentacles is connected directly to the Major Arcana’s 9th Key, The Hermit, through number.  Both the man and women portrayed are solitary figures.  The Hermit has withdrawn from civilization to seek out his inner wisdom.  The 9 of Pentacles woman has not left society – she inhabits one of its gardens – but she stands alone.  Following the wisdom of the Hermit, she has found that her energy and wisdom come from an interior source rather than being dependant on others. They have both followed a discipline that requires some sacrifice.

There is a more subtle numerological connection to The Empress.  Nine is 3 x 3.  The Empress stands behind the woman of the 9 of Pentacles, perhaps whispering in her ear about bounty, creativity, possibility.  The woman of the 9 of Pentacles has learned to put on these gifts of the Empress; her dress is decorated with flowers that take the same shape as the symbol of Venus on the Empress’ shield.  Love is the overflowing cup feeding the flow of these feminine figures.  The invitation here is to surrender to that flowing mix of love, creativity, beauty (all good things!) and let yourself be carried away by their gifts.

 The Hermit and The Empress are the mother and father of the 9 of Pentacles woman.  She needs both the discipline of solitude and ever flowing love gifted to her by her respective parents to achieve her vision and full potential.

How can we also achieve our harvest, our full potential? These cards suggest a spread I am calling the Harvest Constellation Spread

Hermit-Inspired Cards: 

  • What wisdom does my Inner Guide offer to me about bringing in my harvest at this time?
  • What discipline is required of me to bring in this harvest?

Empress-Inspired Cards:

  • What do I need to let flow freely to bring in my harvest at this time?
  • How can I cultivate love as one of the gifts of this harvest?

 Nine-of-Pentacles-Inspired Cards:

  • How can I best combine the wisdom of the Hermit and the Empress?
  • What will my harvest be if I do this work?

I look forward to reading some of your readings in the comments section.

Now continue your hop by visiting Bonnie Fernandes at Intuitive Blogging

For a full list of all participating blogs (and in case you stumble across a broken link) visit  ‎Kareena Narwani’s blog  

[Note:  Tarot card images are from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck ® US Games Systems, Used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.]

Jan 212012
 

One of the grand metaphors of Tarot – though it is a fairly recent innovation – is the that that Major Arcana is The Fool’s Journey with three levels or kinds of work for our Hero Fool to do:  Cards 1 – 7 represent the development of self and the ego; Cards 8 – 14 represent a turning inward to seek a new kind of wisdom; and Cards 15-21 represent fulfillment of the Fool’s seeking and spiritual attainment.  In 78 Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack names the levels as Consciousness, Subconsciousness, and Superconsciousness.

The Fool’s Journey has guided me for a long time but now it’s sparked a new metaphor as I’ve worked through the Journey into the Tarot.  I’ve been playing with a vision of the Major Arcana as three circles of healing with three points of transition.  This post spins out that thread of thought and continues the play.

Both the nature and the shape of the journey changed with the shift in metaphor to circles of healing rather than a progressive journey.

The first spark for this new view of the Major Arcana came from working with and re-assessing the relationships between the male and female wisdom figures of the first six cards of the Major Arcana (which I blogged about in more detail here).  I saw the obvious dance between the Emperor and the Empress, but also how the Hierophant needs the High Priestess’ inner / lunar wisdom to refresh the outer / solar traditions he upholds.  They danced between the Magician and the Lovers.


Using the circle of healing metaphor, The Magician represents the circles highest potential and what exists before a split of masculine and feminine.  He exuberantly uses the male elements of fire and air and the female elements of water and earth to make his magic.  The Lovers shows the joyful connection of masculine and feminine and is the main healing work of this circle of integration.  The connection is possible both within a person and through greater cooperation of men and women in the world.

The Charioteer moves forward from this triumph of integration led by a team of dark and light creatures into the next circle of healing.

Using the attributions of the English School, Strength opens the second circle of healing seeming to continue a theme of triumph and most commonly the image of a woman taming a lion.  But the gentleness of the woman is so different from the boldness of the Charioteer.   Some kind of transformation has taken place.

Paradox now makes its appearance as the trickster teacher because the triumph of the first line is following by the seeming contradiction of dissolution and surrender as the achievements of second line of cards.

The work of this line starts with The Hermit who leaves behind the everyday world for the lonely mountaintop.  He goes inward removing himself from the attention and praise of the world.  This allows him to come to know his inner wisdom.  Rather than being isolating, the work here connects to the Hermit to ever changing movement of the Wheel.  From his wide perspective on the mountain top, he comes to a deep understanding of change internally, in the everyday world, and even in the unseen realms and the widest cosmos.  He no longer fights change but aligns himself with its energies.

This alignment with change brings a greater understanding of the patterns of cause and effect embodied in Justice.  Reaching Justice brings us half way round this circle of healing with Strength and Justice across from each other.  The connection is apt as it takes strength to look at our lives and take responsibility for how we’ve triumphed and failed and to pluck the lessons of self knowledge from its roses and thorns.

The deep self knowledge gained from this encounter with Justice may spark a re-assessment that can be quite destabilizing.  And in this second circle of healing the destabilization needs to be embraced.  The Hanged One meets the challenge by turning every thing upside down and being with the uncertainty created by this new perspective.  Action seems impossible.  A new understanding of what is important is in process of being formed.

The old self faces Death and this is the great work of this circle of healing.  The transition into a new way of being requires releasing what is known, both the negative and the positive aspects.  We are called to let them go without knowing what will next emerge.  There is the phase of the Death process where we enter the void.  If we have prepared well enough in the work of the Hanged One, we may even welcome this place of absence.



We are called forth from the void by the rising of the sun.  The new invites us.  We emerge as stronger because of a greater connection to the whole of creation that is in a constant cycle of birth, death, and re-birth.  The boundaries between self and other have worn away.  We have the skills to commune with our lions (who represent both our fears and our power).  While we appear to have control over these beasts, those who have traveled the healing circle of dissolution know that it is through surrender and death that this deeper kind of power flows.

We’ll need that power when we face the Devil, but that’s a subject for another post.

[Notes:  Images from the Gaian Tarot are used with permission.  It’s interesting to note that some people see the Gaian Magician as a man while others see the figure as a woman.  The ability to be both speaks to the Magician as an already perfect balance of male and female.]

Nov 032011
 

My Journey into the Tarot has me looking with new eyes at the relationships between the wisdom figures of the Major Arcana.  Before this journey, I would pair up the Magician and The High Priestess, but as I wrote about in last week’s post, it is actually the Hierophant and the High Priestess who offer each other necessary balance and when their cooperate a healthy wholeness.

So where is the Magician’s partner?  The Magician’s partner is within.  As the number One, the Magician represents the unity of all things and thus is neither masculine nor feminine (sorry to any Pythagoreans out there who classify this as a male number!) but a blending of both.  The prominence of the 4 elemental tools or emblems of the suits contains this hidden nugget of truth because the Magician uses with equal facility the feminine elements of water and earth and the masculine elements of fire and air.

Perhaps this is why my current favorite reading decks all have androgynous Magicians:  Rachel Pollack’s Shining Tribe, Tarot Roots of Asia, and Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot.  In the Gaian Tarot Circle, although it is more automatic to see the Magician as man, were certain the figure is a woman and were surprised that others even conceived of it as a man.

The High Priestess then becomes the Major Arcana to have a gendered identity as the essence of feminine being.  She brings forth the Empress, the physical, life-giving, creative force of the feminine.  The cosmos springs from the feminine receptive to all life.

If we take the first flaring forth as an example, here is a wonderful description of its beginnings from Thomas Berry’s and Brian Swimme’s The Universe Story:

In the beginning was a flaring forth of evanescent beings.  In every instant the universe was fresh, just as a flickering flame’s shape is fresh, nearly created.  In the beginning, the universe was a sparkling.  Nothing endured the beginning except the flickering creativity bringing forth each new billowing.  The intensity, the concentration, the shimmering of the beginning was so extreme that no single being in the entire universe endured it, but each thing disappeared almost as suddenly as it entered into existence.  (p. 20)

But to endure this great creativity needed form, the first photons and neutrons partnered and a foundation for a stable on-going creation of matter is made.  We have entered the realm of the Emperor who brings structure to creation.  At its best his structuring supports on-going creativity and his leadership leads to harmonious relations.  This is possible when the Emperor and Empress partner just as the first proton and neutrons.

The High Priestess and Hierophant show this partnership within institutions and especially within the institutions that transmit religion and tradition.  Their partnership, too, needs a dynamic dance of the feminine and masculine energies and inclinations.

The dance of these two couples played out in our society has been imperfect.  We are emerging from a time when the masculine has led to too much and partnered too little, but in our times the Goddess and earth/green movements have been bringing the feminine back to center from the margins.  We need to reclaim her wisdom.

And we need to make a leap.

We need to leap into The Lovers as an expression of the masculine and feminine integrated within us as individuals and within our societies and institutions.  They need to embrace each others as equals.

The first six cards of the Major Arcana now show me a journey of healing.  From the original unity of the Magician, we have passed through a perhaps necessary separation of the masculine and feminine, but in our times we have been damaged by the false belief that one is superior to the other.  The Lovers invites us back to a dance of equality and joy.

May it be so!

Oct 102011
 

To prepare these weekly meditations I engage both my intellect – by reading Marcia Macino’s entry on the card in her Best Tarot Practices – and my intuition.  I have a few different techniques for taping intuitively into the card and for the Empress I used one of the simplest:  taking a “long, loving look” at the card.  (For the extend description of this process, you can listen to me on Donnaleigh de la Rose’s newest Beyond World’s offering:  Meditative Moments.)

As I gazed at the card, I was struck by how the Empress and her world is all flow.  I was drawn first to the water flowing behind her and then the red of the velvet robes rippling caught my eye.  The blue reminded me of the High Priestess while red called to mind the Magician.  The Empress creates her world by joining the flow of these two different energies together.  She is receptive to what is, brings it into her self, and applies her will to shaping something new, necessary, beautiful.  The Empress is sitting in the card, but you can imagine that just moments before she was busy at work producing the flow seen in the card.

The start of Chapter 42 of the Tao Te Ching has always spoken to me of the reality of the Empress and even more so now that I have had my eyes opened to her fabulous flow:

The Tao gives birth to One. One gives birth to Two. Two gives birth to Three. Three gives birth to all things.

All things have their backs to the female and stand facing the male. When male and female combine, all things achieve harmony.

Translation:  Stephen Mitchell

So what flow might the Empress help you activate if you invited her more into your life?  Hmm, seems like a question that you might ask the Tarot itself!  Feel free to answer in the comments.

This Wednesday, October 12th, we’ll be journeying with Emperor.  Perhaps he will help us when our flow gets out of control!  If you want to dial into this tele-meditation that starts at 8:30pm ET, just send me an e-mail (carolyn – at – artofchangetarot – dot- com)

(Note:  Image is Rider-Waite Smith Empress ® US Games Systems, Used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)